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Charles Barkley didn’t like LeBron James signing with the Lakers in free agency, thinks the team isn’t a top-four seed in the West

Charles Barkey — he of zero career championships — is knocking LeBron James for, in his mind, putting business ahead of basketball by signing with the Lakers in free agency.

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Charles Barkley is complaining again. Whether it’s about the state of the game, the style of basketball played in the NBA, how much athletes make or whatever, Barkley always seems to have some beef with the NBA, an annoying trend given the platform he’s given to speak from.

LeBron James caught his ire (again), this time for his decision to sign with the Los Angeles Lakers (via Ben Golliver of Sports Illustrated):

“I was hoping [James] would stay in Cleveland,” Barkley told The Crossover in a telephone interview last Friday. “I look at [the move to L.A.] strictly as a business decision. He’s on the downside of his career. He wants to be a big Hollywood mogul. He’s going to be driving by the beach every day instead of going through the snow. … [The Lakers] are not even close to a top-tier team. They’re a 5 or 6 seed in a best-case scenario.”

There are few more utilized methods of making one feel better about themselves than putting down the ideas of others. Barkley, arguably one of the absolute greatest ever to play the game of basketball to also have ever failed to win a championship, is one of this method’s biggest fans.

Barkley’s schtick is old. He killed James for going to Miami. He hates ring chasers and the formation of super teams despite chasing a ring and joining a super team with Clyde Drexler and Hakeem Olajuwon in Houston. Every night, he finds some new aspect of the NBA he just can’t stand on the arguably the biggest sports show in America. He obviously has fans, but I can’t help but feel like he has those fans mostly because they too can’t stand the [air quotes] spoiled athletes he loves to put down.

The NBA is in a fantastic place right now — and arguably in a better place because LeBron decided to come to L.A. As maybe the biggest voice in NBA coverage, Barkley could do more to reflect the league’s health rather than take every opportunity to baselessly criticize everything about it. This obviously isn’t technically his job, but it certainly feels as if at every opportunity he gets, he intentionally does the opposite.

James may benefit financially from his decision to come to Los Angeles and play for the Lakers, and maybe Magic Johnson and the organization will fail to surround him with enough talent to win a championship in purple and gold. Personally, I’d trust the franchise that has won 16 titles to figure it out, but I’m no one to say either way.

But if there’s one thing I can fairly confidently speak to or point out, it’s the hilarity of Charles Barkley offering James (or anyone for that matter) advice on how or where to win championships.

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